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Videos uploaded by user “Sam Deeks”
Tuning advice
 
40:14
This short(er) video is a response to a YT sub's request to explain the 'relative tuning' process I regularly use in my set ups to arrive at a quick tuning (prior to nut or fret work). They pointed out that it can look like black magic if you don't know what's happening (pinging harmonics etc) so in this video I explain what I'm doing and why. I also talk about about tuning stability generally and how good your ear really is in detecting when two notes are in tune with each other.
Views: 2147 Sam Deeks
Nothing like an upcoming gig to make you practice a solo!
 
02:28
It's only since I've been rehearsing with a band over the last 6 or 7 months that I've started improving as a player. After about 35 years wishing I could play the solo from Pink Floyd's 'Comfortably Numb' I finally had to attempt to learn it - as the owner of the venue we're gigging at this coming weekend said he wanted us to play it as it was his & his wife's favourite track. No pressure then. So I tried a few things; videos, tabs... listening to the solos at lot. I discovered that I much prefer watching and hearing someone play the solo to reading tab and trying to string the solos together piece by piece. That's a personal preference and I know that for some people, Tab works really well. This solo is fun to play when you start to get the feel and sound of it.
Views: 1332 Sam Deeks
Electric guitar neck relief - what it IS and ISN'T for
 
26:01
In this short(ish) video I talk about neck relief and share what I've learned about it since I've been setting up guitars. Too many people are afraid of adjusting their guitar necks out of fear of doing some damage to it and as a result never experience 1st hand what it does and why. I recommend doing it and seeing for yourself. Don't get hung up on numbers; change it and see what happens. Estimate it and fine tune it by feel and by eye. Who cares what the manufacturer says? It's much more important to understand what it does and why and what happens as you make adjustments.
Views: 5239 Sam Deeks
Why don't they set up Squiers properly at the factory or the store, mommy?
 
15:13
This video is an introduction to a Vintage V100 Les Paul copy that I'm lining up to set up properly that turns into an explanation of why it is that NO budget guitars are ever set up right. The short version: It's because it would cost too much to do it. It takes me 3hrs to do it properly. With better tools I could maybe halve that time. So 1.5hrs at say, £15 an hour for a skilled worker - that's an additional £22.50 the manufacturer has to make in PROFIT for each guitar to make it cost-effective. Given that the margins in manufacturing, distributing and selling these guitars will be incredibly tight to begin with, finding an additional £22.50 of profit to pay for this extra work is completely impossible within the business model. This business model works only because it sells 'OK' quality guitars to people who are only prepared to pay £120 for a guitar and amp in a box. The profit per unit to both manufacturer, distributor and retailer is likely to be in the region of pennies, not pounds. Now I don't KNOW this (I'm not in the industry) so I am happy to be corrected. The point here is that the work needed to put these guitars right has to be paid for out of profit; i.e. it is a cost that the business has to find and that will be nigh on impossible with small profit margins. The manufacturer isn't doing it. The shop or online retailer isn't doing it. The guy you bought it off probably isn't doing it. So it's down to you or me to do it. I forgot to mention that I have ONE single guitar in my collection that is so well made and well set up that I have been playing it without doing anything to it. No, it's not a £1,000 USA Fender or Gibson Les Paul. It's a Vintage brand black stratocaster copy and it was practically new, suggesting that it was set up properly either by the factory or by the retailer (whoever that was). Reloved Guitars is a stepdad-stepson outfit based near Tavistock in Devon. I've been playing guitar (badly) for years but never learned anything about how to set one up until last winter when I bought a DIY electric guitar kit. This got me to learning some of the basics of setting up a guitar. Then, an infuriating problem with a £300 Taylor Baby acoustic that sounded awful whatever I did to it pushed me to learn the Secret Power of The Nut... From there I worked out a simple recipe for turning ANY unloved, unplayable dog of a budget guitar into a fantastic instrument you'd want to keep. So far, so good: the recipe has worked on every guitar that's come into our little workshop. See more of what we do here: https://www.facebook.com/relovedguitars
Views: 4291 Sam Deeks
Harley Benton Tele DIY kit unboxing
 
12:44
In this short video I unbox a Harley Benton T-style DIY guitar kit. I bought this because I've heard a LOT of good reviews about them and for about £45 it was worth it just to see. First things first - I'm not affiliated to anyone or anything, so this is just my personal opinion and first impression of this Harley Benton guitar kit. The box is good - compartmentalised and reassuring. First, the body. Cleanly cut, nice grain two piece and quite light wood. Not as thick as the Fender telecaster but fine for what it is. Neck really impressed me. Smooth fret ends, nice maple, nice rosewood. It has a 'paddle' headstock that I can convert to a Fender Tele style if I want. Decent, fairly narrow frets, and nice and straight; flat out of the box and no twists anywhere. Most surprising was how few uneven frets this has. Less than just about any guitar that's passed through the workshop so far. Nice going Harley Benton / Thomann. Hardware and electrics were all there; obviously these are going to be budget stuff - but judging from the hundreds of very satisfied customers they work pretty well and sound better than you'd expect. We'll see. Nice to see the electrics have solder-free connectors (a first for me) so getting this guitar playing will be simple. So the positives are: 1) Price - ridiculously low 2) Nice body / grain 3) Great neck 4) Snap together electrics 5) Instructions!! These kits NEVER have printed instructions...but this does :-) I'm looking forward to being able to Tru-oil the body, put it together quickly and put my effort into the set up (and a quick headstock modification). The plan is to see whether this creates a viable and very affordable Tele with a good sound and a great action. So far, so good.
Views: 14627 Sam Deeks
Set up your electric & acoustic guitars with Reloved Guitars' '5 steps to guitar heaven' eBook
 
06:20
I'm pleased to say that I finally got round to producing that eBook! Here it is, 165 pages covering the electric guitar set up and acoustic guitar set up in close-up detail. If you buy the eBook you get access to a real-time video for each of the steps in each of the setups. The eBook takes you through key concepts behind the set up, how to make the 'Banana' tune-able fret levelling tool and more importantly, how to use it. I do both set ups with the LEAST expensive tools out there so that just about anyone can afford to make their guitars play great! There's a section on buying guitars to set up both on and off eBay, which I've found are best and one or two to avoid at all costs! Details of how to buy are at the end of the video.
Views: 2024 Sam Deeks
Cable break on K13 glider at Dartmoor
 
01:13
A very short flight in an AS-K13 at Dartmoor Gliding Society. Instructor Martin confidently and safely handled this 'e for eventuality' while the camera (a Drift HD) was running and I was capturing audio in the cockpit with a Tascam DR-07 Mk II audio recorder. NOTE for technical: iMovie for the Mac is SO bad that I gave up trying to use it and did my video editing (AND dubbed the Tascam audio onto the video) using Screenflow.
Views: 2551 Sam Deeks
Encore strat from Reloved Guitars - set up part 1
 
08:01
The star of this video is an Encore Stratocaster-style electric guitar - Reloved004 - in red with white pick guard, pickup covers and control knobs. It has a maple neck with a wide rosewood fingerboard and a 5-way switch to select between the three single-coil pickups. The tremolo unit on this guitar works very well with no tuning issues thanks to very powerful springs in the rear of the unit. The body is made of a very light Chinese hardwood which gives the guitar a slightly 'neck-heavy' feel (a bit like a Gibson SG). This guitar is now in good condition with a perfectly set-up nut giving it spot-on intonation and tuning stability. The wide, playable Encore neck is perfect for big hands or learners needing space to get their fingers around chords. We got it with a worn-out strap button screw hole where the previous owner had kept using ever-bigger screws. We drilled a new hole for the right-size strap button screw and filled the original. In this video, we do the following work: • Checking the structure • Checking the electronics • Polishing the lacquer • Fitting new strings (Ernie Ball Super Slinky 9s) • Levelling the frets • Re-crowning and polishing the frets • Checking the nut & and filing the string slots to correct depth • Setting the neck relief correctly • Setting the playing action • Intonating each string The result is a well-loved guitar that feels and sounds amazing and has blown away any prejudice I had about the 'Encore' brand. This is a guitar with character that I really want to keep - despite this, it IS up for sale on eBay •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• In case you're interested, 'Reloved Guitars' is a 'dad and stepson' operation, working from Tavistock in Devon, UK. We buy up good quality, badly-set up electric guitars that have been abandoned by frustrated owners and sold on eBay. We give each one a complete overhaul and set-up so that it plays better than a guitar costing 5 times as much. Each Reloved guitar comes with a link to its own individual set of HD workshop videos to give you confidence in the work that was done and to teach you how to set up a guitar yourself and know what to look for when buying second hand. I believe it's a MYTH that only expensive guitars are good guitars. I set out to prove that a well set-up basic guitar will out-perform more expensive, brand name guitars. Reloved004, the bog-standard Encore that everyone's supposed to hate proves this point perfectly :-)
Views: 3986 Sam Deeks
Bend chokes on tight radii
 
13:22
Thanks to Furious Phil on Youtube for the prompt to make this short video. He commented asking why, when all strings played nicely, bends on the B string were choking out... Hopefully this little 'whiteboard' session will help to make sense of why this happens - and why it's much more likely (and more pronounced) with tighter radii - 9.5" or lower.
Views: 2084 Sam Deeks
It's friday night at Reloved Guitars
 
05:42
Just a quick hello because I realise that in the long gaps between mega-uploads of full length videos I appear to all my subscribers to have dropped off the edge of the flat old earth ;-) So just a quick 'Hi' and I plan to do one or two of these a week while I'm waiting to upload the bigger files every 3 or 4 weeks (when I can). I'm currently timing this upload to see just how feasible this plan is - or isn't :-) I plan to keep the quick updates to 5 minutes if possible and see what useful little tips / topics I can cover in that time. But still no edits, because there's no 'payback' for me for the time spent editing. So... that 5 minute video took me about 45 minutes to upload (while stepson is out of the house and not hitting the bandwidth!). That's not so bad! A broadband speed check shows we're getting 21Mbs down and 1Mbs up. Believe it or not, that's quite an improvement on what we had until just recently!
Views: 838 Sam Deeks
Gibson Les Paul Studio vs. Rally GL300 - quick back-to-back comparison
 
04:47
*** And now for the big reveal..... Guitar #1 was The Gibson Les Paul Studio with Tonerider Rocksong pickups. Guitar #2 was the Rally Les Paul copy with Seymour Duncan Slash signature pickups. Thanks for your responses - and of course, it wasn't very easy to hear since the sound was a bit 'over-processed' by the Sony action cam. It's interesting that the views were 50/50ish.. ie around 50% of people here and on RG Facebook page thought #1 was the Gibson and 50% thought it was the Rally. Equally, at least as many people said they liked the sound of #2 (the Rally) as said they liked the sound of #1. Personally, I have no confidence in my own ability to tell one guitar or brand of pickups from another in blind tests - at least not when they both have similar quality pickups like these two did - so don't worry if you got it wrong too :-) Next stop would be to blind test some expensive pickups against some medium-priced pickups against some truly cheap pickups... and see if we can really hear a difference. I'd hope we could but I'm not totally convinced we would :-) ************************************************* At the tail end of a very busy weekend I got a couple of minutes to try Tom's Gibson Les Paul Studio (fitted with Tonerider Rocksong p/ups that I'd just fitted for him) against my Rally GL300 (fitted with Seymour Duncan Slash signature p/ups). Unfortunately I was very pushed for time so wasn't able to do anything except some (ragged) rhythm guitar (something approximately like 'All Right Now' by Free). In addition, the audio processing on the Sony Action cam is a bit over the top on the 'limiter' function so it boosts / squashes all audio to a single level. The output from one of these guitars was quite a bit higher than the other - but you can't tell from this clip because the audio processor has levelled them out. I'm not going to say which was which for a while. Personally, I thought my Rally sounded at least as good, if not better than the Gibson and had a lower action as well. That's a bit unfair since the Rally has had fret levelling done whereas the Gibson hasn't. The Rally cost around £150 + my set up + the Seymour Duncans - so a total of around £295 - 300. The Gibson cost Tom around £1100 plus the Toneriders (£65). I'd really like to repeat this with more time and using just the Tascam audio (not through a video cam audio processing circuit). There's at least £800 difference between these two guitars. The question is, can you hear it? Should you be able to hear it?
Views: 2468 Sam Deeks
Avon sound test
 
02:35
A quick blast of Malcolm's Avon Les Paul copy. He's owned this guitar since he bought it new in the early 1970s and it was the guitar he gigged with in his first bands. I did a full 'AristoCat' refurbishment so that it's now giggable quality and with an awesome tone & playability, with a whole new lease of life ahead of it.
Views: 1324 Sam Deeks
Taking care of fret sprout caused by wood shrinkage
 
05:22
The downside of microscopically-perfect fret edges achieved by trimming them with a fret bevelling block is that if (when) the wood of the neck shrinks even a thousandth of an inch, the fret end will stick out. The fact that the bevelled edge is then effectively a chisel blade means that your fingers will notice it immediately. In this quick video I show a couple of quick ways to get rid of this 'fret sprout'. First, if you're in the business of fretting and have a fret end bevelling file, you can use this again to bring those fret edges back flush with the wood. This tool will almost always cost you *some* finish on the edge of your fingerboard. Secondly, you can get some sandpaper / wet and dry paper and attach it to a block of foam. In this video I'm taking off the fret sprout with some 240 grit followed by some 600. A third way (not shown here) is you can use a fret end file and file the end of each fret back flush to the fingerboard edge. This is also a very effective but will leave your fret end with a more scratched-looking finish.
Views: 434 Sam Deeks
3 Indian Encores to upgrade and refurbish
 
09:00
A quick look at 3 new arrivals at Reloved Guitars - 3 Indian-made Encore guitars donated / traded by Ed in p/exchange for a full re-fret and set up on his Vintage V6 (shown in a separate video). Ed offered me these 3 guitars just as I was looking for another Encore Strat to refurbish / upgrade so it was perfect timing - and you can tell I'm in hog heaven :-)
Views: 1642 Sam Deeks
Yamaha SE350H sound check
 
08:15
This is a quick follow-on video from the last one where I talked about playing action and fret levelling. This is how the Yamaha SE350H ended up sounding and playing (following the fret levelling & set up process I did in the previous video). I'm amazed again at how good this guitar is. I knew they were something special after I set up the one my sister has (and has had since she was a kid in the 80s). I couldn't believe how rock-solid the Floyd-Rose style tremelo system was and how great it was to play. Once I'd finished setting hers up I had to give it back and immediately set an eBay search alert to find one. In over a year, the only Yamaha SE350 to come up for sale in the UK was the one shown in this video. That's how rare they are (compare this to the number of Squier Strats you'd see listed in a single year!). This one came up, in pretty grotty condition but I jumped at it. The payoff is a guitar that I'll probably keep, it's SO good. This video shows me trying it out through my little Roland Micro Cube amp immediately after finishing the set up.
Views: 2021 Sam Deeks
Schecter Synyster Gates set up
 
02:01:49
** Caution! Long and mostly real-time video showing the full set up process for customers and prospective customers of Reloved Guitars. This video is NOT intended for entertainment purposes ** Here we have an interesting beast - the Schecter Synyster Gates Custom guitar. At first glance this fairly expensive metal-oriented guitar seemed perfect; no real apparent problems. Things were made a bit more difficult in that I had not met or spoken to the owner so didn't know what they weren't happy with. I only knew they weren't happy with it (after having taken it to another guitar tech in their area). No pressure there then! With this guitar I had to trust that doing my usual full fret-levelling set up would improve the guitar and hopefully make it feel better for the owner. I did think the action was high when I got it so was confident that I could improve that. The video shows me levelling, re-profiling and polishing the frets and then restringing and setting the action. The nut action is fixed by the locking nut base and (to my mind) was a little higher than I'd want for a guitar but I had no option but to leave it as it was. The finished guitar has an action of 1.1mm at the last fret so hopefully Tom (who I finally met on Facebook AFTER finishing the work) will enjoy the new, lower faster feel of this guitar.
Views: 29758 Sam Deeks
Making an adjustable bone Strat or Tele nut using grub screws and a mini tap set
 
13:02
Apologies for the sound - this is the best that a temporary GoPro Session camera can do. Sony Action Cam every time - with their built-in stereo mics! This video shows me making an adjustable bone Strat nut out of a cheap Chinese bone nut and some tiny grub screws. Very satisfying and works incredibly well. For electric guitars the adjustability is brilliant (and you don't have to cut the slots so less risk of binding etc) but I'm not sure I'd fit one to an acoustic guitar simply because too many people would be put off by the idea of transmitting tone to the guitar via two tiny steel 'feet' (aka the grub screws). Not that the nut end transmits much to the sound box anyhoo - but it's not worth the online hate :-D
Views: 688 Sam Deeks
Reloved Guitars - tools of the trade part 1
 
17:35
In response to someone asking me to talk about some of the tools I use to set up guitars and co-inciding with my son buying me a cool yellow Pelican case for Christmas (nerdy gift or what?), I filmed this 'walkthrough' of an ideal minimalist tool kit that I'd need for my work. Of course I wouldn't reduced it down to just that, but there's enough in the box to do the complete set up - at a push (minus a couple of things like 50cm metal rulers and such like).
Views: 1653 Sam Deeks
Harley Benton L450 GT P90 review
 
13:33
Sound test here http://youtu.be/6bunkmuKvBU A quick tour of a Harley Benton L-450 GT P90 - just over £100 from Thomann. I've been really impressed with this Chinese-made LP copy. Out of the box it needs careful set-up but with just the action lowered and the intonation set it's great fun. Why pay £5,000 for the real thing when you can have something as solid, well-built and as brilliant-sounding as this for 1/50th of the price? You really can't go wrong for this price - but make sure you learn how to set the intonation yourself (no point paying as much again for set up as you paid for the guitar!). +ves? • Beautifully finished, full weight LP copy • Very high quality manufacturing • Well packed, securely delivered (great customer service from Thomann) • Great-sounding P90 pickups. Switch gives you 3 very different & useful tones • Ludicrously cheap! • Looks great! • Feels nice to handle • Fantastic to play (when set up) • Free lead! -ves? • Mine had a small white scratch mark below the clear lacquer next to one of the pickups • The scratchplate looks OK but is cheap plastic....then again, what can you expect for £100? :-) • You've got to set it up (but setting up transforms it) • Couple of frets high up the neck choking at very low action setting (I keep it high enough to avoid this) • Tuner pegs a bit 'plasticy' (and slightly greener than the cream I was hoping for) • Lousy strings fitted... (change them for Elixirs ASAP!) The +ves (which add up to a guitar that will make you smile and want to play again and again) far outweigh the -ves (which are relatively minor and what you'd expect for such a low price). I've had this guitar a week and I love it already. If / when I get the urge for another guitar I will certainly start by exploring what else Harley Benton has to offer. This guitar is supplied by Thomann, the #1 German musical gear retailer. Great seller with a huge range of kit on a very usable, easy-to-search website. The website is so good that it's hardly changed in the 8 years I've been using it. Serious contender for all your musical gear: once you've bought from there you might not go anywhere else. http://www.thomann.de/gb/harley_benton_hbl450gt_p90.htm
Views: 22503 Sam Deeks
Harley Benton Telecaster KIT build, upgrade and set up part 2
 
21:34
** Warning - shorter-than-usual but still unedited video ahead. Not intended for entertainment so ensure you know where the 'back' button on your browser is ** This is last bit of the Harley Benton tele kit video - and if you're easily offended by a grown man singing a Rocky Horror song in falsetto to his cat, please look away now :-) In this video, I do the intonation - and discover that it's **almost** out of reach of the saddle screws which shows me that the bridge is actually about 2-3mm out of place from its ideal location. I forgot to mention this on the review I left on the Thomann website but it's pretty important, and something that the kit builder will only discover right at the last point in their build. Having said that, it wouldn't be that difficult to reposition (bringing it 2-3mm closer to the pickguard). It currently IS perfectly intonated, but only just. ********************** This video shows me putting together and setting up a Harley Benton T-style DIY kit electric guitar from online music retailer Thomann.de. I've bought from these people since about 2006 (!) and they're totally credible and dependable in my experience. I've bought a couple of HB guitars in the past and for a long time had my eye on one of their kits because they were so cheap and because of the masses of positive feedback about them on their site. I bought this one because I was interested in whether it was a viable 'platform' for upgrading, setting up the 'Reloved' way and selling on. And at £57 + about £8 postage there's really nothing to lose - especially considering you get a playable Tele at the end of it. The kit is impressive when it arrives: very confidence-inspiring. Everything is there, well packed and all the routing and finish of the body & neck look and feel great. The neck joint is very snug. You notice immediately the light weight of the body... I cut the headstock to a Tele template and put on one of my own logos and followed up with some vintage amber lacquer and clear gloss (all nitrocellulose). Meanwhile, I sanded the body and added some water-based stains (the first time I'd used these and tbh they didn't seem to take that well to basswood). I ended up with a reddy-brown finish that was more 'flat' than 'showing off the grain' but, hey - it's £57 remember. I'd ordered some Tone Rider hot pickups for this and fitted them off-camera (because they needed small but time-consuming modification to fit). I then put the guitar together which was an absolute doddle thanks to its simplicity and the snap-together solderless connections (although I had to solder them on to the Tone Riders). Even though I planned to give this a full Reloved fret levelling & set up, I held back from doing that because I first wanted to see how the guitar would play 'put together straight out of the box'. I strung it up, dropped the saddles a couple of mm and the decent quality of the neck allowed me to get playing straight away. That, plus the experience of building it, would be a great outcome for a newcomer or a youngster - worth every penny and more. The video shows me going on to do a precision fret-levelling (as usual) and full set up. Off camera I'd had to return the first set of Tone Rider p/ups because the bridge one was unacceptably microphonic. The end result? The guitar sounds great and plays beautifully thanks to that extra precision on top of what was an unusually good neck for the price. However, there are two major issues for me (and I accept that I'm maybe not their usual buyer): first thanks to the light body, the guitar is headstock heavy. I hate this in a guitar - you'd be amazed how much energy you end up putting into holding the guitar up while playing. In a gig it can sap you before you know it. Second, the pickup selector switch is annoyingly and unnecessarily stiff. I like the feel and sound of the guitar so much that I've just ordered a sheet of lead which I'm going to fold up and attached to the bottom edge of the guitar where the strap button is. That is the only way I'd sell this guitar because without it, a buyer wouldn't be able to enjoy it's great qualities.
Views: 18143 Sam Deeks
Epiphone SG400 set up
 
02:34:31
This video shows the set up of an Epiphone SG 400 in vintage cherry. It's a straightforward Reloved Guitars set up - with a decision to replace the original black plastic nut for a new bone one along the way. Like many SGs this one set up with a beautiful low action of just over 1mm at the last fret - thanks to the SGs design which sees most of the neck and all of the fingerboard outside of the body. This make the neck very responsive to adjustment.
Views: 31475 Sam Deeks
Vintage V100 CS set up part 1
 
38:43
Warning: this is part 1 of a long video. Luckily, this part is short. Part 2 other ISN'T :-) But they're NOT meant to be watched for entertainment. They are for people considering buying a Reloved Guitar - that's a bog standard budget guitar given a thorough overhaul and set up to play properly. In these two videos you'll see a Vintage brand V100 Cherry Sunburst Les Paul copy getting the Reloved treatment - and nearly getting the better of me. I paid quite a lot of money for this guitar and it had far more niggly faults than the previous seller outlined. First of these was an intermittent pickup selector switch, second was a broken tuner and third was an unresponsive truss rod. Oh, and fourth was a slightly out of position bridge (meaning I had to remove the bridge, take apart one of the saddles and reverse it to get the maximum intonation range out of it). Not great for the money I paid for it. And by the time I get to the end of the second video, I'm starting to make mistakes (reversing the wrong saddle, then putting the bridge back on the wrong way...to name but two) and losing my usual good humour. By the time I finished this guitar I had: • Levelled, re-profiled and polished the frets • Checked and adjusted the electrics • Fixed then re-broken a broken tuner • Upgraded the tuners with a new set of Wilkinson Vintage EZ-loks • Restrung the guitar with new Ernie Ball 9s • Polished out some paint repairs made by a previous owner • Filed the nut slots • Set the playing action (eventually) • Intonated each string That's 4.5hrs on this video and another hour on top of that changing the tuners and polishing the repairs. That's a LOT of work to make this guitar play as well as it now does - yet this guitar LOOKED the business when it arrived a couple of weeks ago. It just goes to show you... By comparison, the black V100 we're also refurbishing although in a far worse state to look at (and not working when we got it) is proving to be much less trouble. And we only paid 1/3 as much for that one. Even on a good day it takes us about 3hrs to inspect, dismantle, clean and properly set up a guitar so that it plays way better than it did when it came out of the factory or the shop. Don't forget, that's doing work that the factory doesn't do, the shop doesn't do and the person who had the guitar before you more than likely didn't do. But it still needs to be done and without it, your guitar probably plays like a dog.
Views: 22909 Sam Deeks
Lovely manky old Kay Les Paul guitar...and I like it. I la-la-la-like it
 
02:40
Bought on eBay and collected from a guy at London Bridge, this is a trip back in time to when we knew that Kay guitars were shit but didn't have the intervening 30 years and people saying "Oooh, made in Japan" to make us forget just how shit. Well they are, but I'm REALLY looking forward to taking this one to pieces and making it play as well as it can. How sad is that? Dunno I just can't help myself.
Views: 2593 Sam Deeks
Harley Benton electro acoustic intro
 
13:07
This is a quick video to introduce this Harley Benton CD-120 black electro acoustic dreadnought guitar bought from Thomann online. There's a reason for buying this guitar: I wanted to see if I could make a £58 (plus postage) guitar worth £120 to a buyer - by doing everything required to make it play perfectly. About a year ago I bought a Harley Benton (Thomann's own brand btw) Les Paul copy 'goldtop' with two P90s. Really impressed with the basic components & build (for the money) but it required a full set up including fret levelling to make it into a really good guitar. I'm curious to know if the same is true of this acoustic and how good or bad it will be after I've done the work. I may also just keep it once I've set it up properly because I don't have any other guitar with an acoustic pickup in it.
Views: 47033 Sam Deeks
Reloved Guitars Oakcaster 6 sound demo
 
08:07
This quick video is a sound demo of my Reloved Guitars’ ‘Oakcaster #6’. RG’s ‘Oakcasters’ are full scale, fully functioning and superbly easy-to-play electric guitars that can compete with any full size guitar but can also be taken easily on holiday or away on business. I’ve made these guitars with oak bodies for solidity, weight and look. Oak gives them great sustain plus the feel of a real guitar. The neck is fixed to the body with 4 M8 hex bolts & threaded inserts for easy assembly & disassembly when travelling. These guitars fit easily into a medium sized suitcase in two pieces. This is one of the heavier of the Oakcasters, being close to 5lb. When re-assembled with new strings at your destination the guitar returns to its low, light set up thanks to the simple bridge, the snug neck fitting and the hex bolts. This Oakcaster is made of two pieces of American red oak with grain filler to pick out the grain and a light, matt coat of Tru Oil. It features two Warman 'Firebucker' mini-humbuckers and chrome hardware. The guitar is well-balanced whether on your knee or on a strap (thanks to the weight of the oak). It’s rugged and designed to be banged around on your adventures rather than just hung on a peg and looked at. I 'road tested' this guitar at a band rehearsal and it performed brilliantly. I also had my trusty Rally GL300 but didn't touch it once in 4hrs. If you know how much I like my Rally Les Paul copy then you'll know how good this Oakcaster #6 is :-) Please note: I will upgrade the tuners on this guitar before sale as I decided that I'm not satisfied with the quality of the ones currently fitted. You can see the guitar in the process of being made here: https://www.facebook.com/relovedguitars/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1767612573495855
Views: 1346 Sam Deeks
Epiphone Les Paul Standard set up
 
01:44:00
In this video I'm setting up Michael's Epiphone Les Paul standard. The guitar had been upgraded with some very nice Seymour Duncan pickups and Gotoh locking tuners. I quickly discovered that the primary issue was considerable 'backbow' in the neck causing lower frets to choke out on the hump of the neck. This was fairly simple to fix and to my surprise, this guitar turned out to have a beautifully level fret board. As a result, I was able to set a fabulously low playing action without the need for any fret levelling. Cheaper for Michael and quicker for me.
Views: 3813 Sam Deeks
Kit DIY 'SG' - now with adjustable Tusq nut and Duesenberg Les Trem
 
09:41
This is just a quick re-visit of the first guitar I 'made' - a kit 'SG' that I enjoyed putting together in 2014. I bought from a UK seller and it was nice quality - £135-ish for a mahogany neck & body that was designed as a set neck. These days you can get a SG for something like £80-90 from Thomann.de - but these tend to be bolt-on SGs which are great fun too, but a little less of an achievement than glue-ing your own first set neck. If it had any real faults, this guitar body was too light leaving the neck top heavy no matter what tuners I had fitted. This wasn't really a fault of the manufacturer or seller; Gibson's own SG was renowned for being head-heavy. I naively sprayed the 'Capri Orange' nitro in a damp December - guaranteeing white bloom in the finish. Despite that, it's pretty good looking from a distance :-) Since finishing it I've changed the pickups a few times, fitted a new bridge and filled the body with as much lead as I could fit it there. Prior to this video I just changed to lighter tuners, fitted the Duesenberg vibrato and an adjustable Tusq nut. The action is blindingly good and the bridge pickup is a vintage DiMarzio. The only thing I'll do to this guitar will be to replace the neck IronGear P90 with something a bit more distinctive. But apart from that, I love how it plays now. If you want to do the same precision fret-levelled set ups that I do in my other videos - using everyday tools that cost next to nothing - please consider buying my eBook '5 Steps to Guitar Set Up Heaven'. Details how to get it direct from me are here: https://www.facebook.com/relovedguitars/photos/a.1434485003475282/1831237983799980/?type=3&theater
Views: 1280 Sam Deeks
Epiphone AFD Slash LP set up
 
01:39:26
** Warning: long, unedited video ahead. Not intended for entertainment purposes. Please ensure you know the location of your nearest emergency exit ** This video shows me setting up this nice looking Epiphone Les Paul Special II ‘Slash AFD’ copy electric guitar. I bought it because I was curious to see what the pickups were like and because it’s also a pretty guitar. It’s a bolted neck Les Paul copy with a mahogany slab body (i.e. no contouring / shaping to it), very basic tuners, a plastic nut and an unbound neck. It has two ‘zebra’ style pickups and a simple master volume / master tone arrangement with a 3-way selector switch. The finish is very nice, with a deep vintage cherry on the neck, sides and back of the guitar and an ‘Appetite Amber’ maple front cap (according to Epiphone). I think the guitar is sold as part of a kit comprising amp, lead, strap, tuner etc. I was surprised at how good the pickups were: high output with a useable range of tone especially when used with crunch or overdrive settings. I also like the neat little Shadow tuner built into the bridge pickup housing. Ok, so the lights are a little gaudy but it’s SO simple and best of all, it really works. Left me wishing I had this on more of my guitars. What let this guitar down though (as always) was the awful action set to disguise a fair old mess of uneven frets up near the top end of the neck. In addition, its factory nut settings gave a 1st fret action of around 1.2mm a height that is guaranteed to create intonation problems for all but the most delicate of players. On this guitar (serial # Reloved126) I did the following set up work: • Clean and check components • Set the nut slots correctly (to reduce 1st fret action from 1.2mm to 0.25mm!), set playing action and neck relief • Levelled frets in playing set up using my ‘tuneable fret levelling tool’ • Re-profiled and polished frets • Set intonation The result of this work is a seriously playable, great-looking budget electric guitar with good pickups and a lovely low action. It's now 1.5mm at the 22nd and 0.25mm at the 1st fret. I'd be more than happy to take this to a gig or band rehearsal since its now a lot better to play than when it was new.
Views: 45769 Sam Deeks
Yamaha Pacifica 012 set up
 
01:37:04
This basic red Yamaha Pacifica is another of the 3 guitars that Les brought down with him from Warminster for the Reloved treatment - namely a fast, low and light set up to help a beginner master the basics of playing chords. He got a very good deal on this 2nd hand on eBay, demonstrating that Pacificas really are bargains in a buyer's market. They're great quality and very capable...but they don't quite set the world on fire. This is great news if you're more concerned with quality and playability than you are with pose value. Like many guitarists, Les had come to believe that tremolos always ruined the tuning stability of a guitar. It's not surprising that so many people believe that because that's what the evidence seems to point to. You string your guitar, tune it up and then play it using the tremolo now and then. Within a second it's so out of tune its unusable. You re-tune and try again. Same thing happens and you - understandably - conclude that the only thing to do with this kind of tremolo is to lock it down with a lump of hardwood. The truth is that there's nothing wrong with the tremolo. What's wrong is one or most likely both of the following things: 1) your strings STILL have unreleased slack in them and 2) your nut slots are gripping the strings. While there is still ANY unreleased slack in your strings and so long as the nut slots are the slightest bit too narrow (causing the string to occasionally 'ping' as you tune up) the slightest touch of the tremolo WILL detune your guitar and will, therefore, be unusable. Take all the slack out of your strings, however, and get the nut slots perfect and you can use the tremolo all day long and the guitar will stay in tune. On this Pacifica I set the tremolo in a 'floating' configuration. This means that it is balanced in a way that allows unlimited downward pitch bending and a chosen range of upward pitch bending (by pulling the arm upwards). The standard 'up bend' range I aim for is 1.5 tones on the G string, 1 tone on the B and a semitone on the high E. Setting the 6-screw tremolo to float in this way isn't overly complex and I follow the Galeazzo Frudua method which takes hardly any time at all. You can find his very clever instructions here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUkKZy8U_gA and here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7luUzgDwwcs I did the tremolo set up on this guitar off-camera because I'm grateful to Galeazzo for showing how in the first place and I'd feel a bit...unfair describing his method step-by-step in my videos. I'd much rather you went to his YT channel to learn how to do it and while there, discover just what a talented luthier and Beatles expert he is :-) Ok. So on this guitar I wavered a while about whether or not it needed fret levelling because it was close...but in the end, choking on bends high up the neck at my chosen action sealed the deal and I levelled them. The end result is a guitar with a workable tremolo that won't go out of tune and a very light, easy playing action - perfect for Les to make progress learning to play the guitar.
Views: 11594 Sam Deeks
Epiphone LP100 set up
 
02:10:15
This video shows the set up of Dom's lovely old (1980s?) Epiphone LP100 in 'heritage cherry' finish. This guitar arrived with problems holding tune on the G string in particular, with a high-ish action and some uneven frets preventing a lower, faster action being set. It also had some loose bits and everything was tired and in need of a good clean. My first step was to do a test to see just how much residual slack was still in the strings - despite them being pretty old (probably a year or more). The answer is LOADS - and the guitar de-tuned significantly over the three times I stretched them before settling down. This was undoubtedly a contributor to the tuning instability regardless of whatever else I found wrong. I then set my desired action (1.5mm at the last fret), set the neck relief and reduced the nut slots to give 0.3mm 1st fret action over all the strings. That done, I set about levelling the frets with my 'Banana' method. I cleaned and polished all the components, fixed the loose strap screw and gave the electrics a shot of air and contact cleaner. I also strengthened up the loose jack plug socket. The result is an awesome-sounding guitar in the best colour combination out there. I immediately fell in love with this simple, unpretentious bolted-neck LP copy and saw another one on eBay the same day. Unfortunately the seller wouldn't post it so I had to pass it by, but I've been smitten.
Views: 19382 Sam Deeks
Jackson Dinky set up
 
01:07:25
This video shows me setting up a recently-acquired Jackson Dinky. I've never played one of these guitars before which (along with great condition and a good price - thanks Sy!) was why I bought it. The upshot is that I liked everything about it except for the extreme spread of the strings as they exit the nut and head for the tuners. Not ideal but at the same time, not completely unusual. Strats and Teles don't have that but single cutaways like Les Pauls and SGs etc and various other guitars DO. Including the Antoria archtop I refurbished the other week. The sideways splay of the strings on that guitar is so extreme that almost every example comes with the bits of nut to the outside of the high and low E strings snapped off. This video shows a fairly straightforward set up process and there were no surprises. To my mind, this is a quality budget guitar with a full-size steel tremolo block (for improved sustain), a lovely maple neck (rather like an Ibanez Wizard) and not bad sounding pickups that drove my borrowed Blackstar nicely. One interesting thing about this guitar is how it helped to demonstrate the point I always make about string slack and tuning stability. Sy had this guitar for around a year and played it on and off yet when I got it, I was able to put it out of tune immediately with some string bends. I re-tuned and then deliberately stretched the strings - resulting in a massively out of tune guitar. This kept going until I finally wrung ALL of the stored up slack out of the strings approximately one YEAR after purchase. There's no better demonstration how tenaciously that stored-up slack will cling to your guitar, only coming out when you least want it to i.e. when playing or worse, when gigging. This guitar will be for sale because, as much as I like it, it's one too many for my overloaded '2-up' Hercules hangars!
Views: 10912 Sam Deeks
Squier Affinity Tele set up
 
01:32:41
** As at 20th Aug 2018 this one's for sale - contact me [email protected] if you're interested. A mere £165 + £25 P&P to anywhere in the UK, overseas possible - courier prices vary ** This video shows me a lightning (!!) set up of this Squier Affinity Tele. Not a bad guitar - picked up from Mark in Cornwall on our way down for an overnight break in Falmouth (and a quick afternoon's sailing the following day). It's a nice condition example with two small dings that I filled and levelled using 'GluBoost' and buffed out with the RG slow-speed buffer. Everything about it works well; it was a but grubby from a lifetime of being well played I'd guess but it cleaned up and set up beautifully. I replaced the metal string tree with a cream Tusq one. As usual I set this with a very low, light action: 0.3mm at the first fret, 1.5mm last fret low E, 1.2mm last fret high E and 0.2mm or thereabouts neck relief. Snappy, twangly and quacky, It's great Tele.
Views: 3436 Sam Deeks
Guitar re-fretting: up-cycling an old Squier maple neck for a headless build - Part 1
 
11:21
Part 1 of a quick-ish video showing how I re-fret (or 'up-cycle') this old Squier maple neck for a headless project. Here I'm fretting with EVO Gold fretwire - beautiful soft golden metal which is somewhere between regular frets and stainless steel in terms of hardness.
Views: 243 Sam Deeks
Encore strat - set up part 13
 
13:37
** Jump to 5.20 to hear how beautifully intonated this guitar now is (Note the chromatic tuner display) ** The star of this video is an Encore Stratocaster-style electric guitar - Reloved004 - in red with white pick guard, pickup covers and control knobs. It has a maple neck with a wide rosewood fingerboard and a 5-way switch to select between the three single-coil pickups. The tremolo unit on this guitar works very well with no tuning issues thanks to very powerful springs in the rear of the unit. The body is made of a very light Chinese hardwood which gives the guitar a slightly 'neck-heavy' feel (a bit like a Gibson SG). This guitar is now in good condition with a perfectly set-up nut giving it spot-on intonation and tuning stability. The wide, playable Encore neck is perfect for big hands or learners needing space to get their fingers around chords. We got it with a worn-out strap button screw hole where the previous owner had kept using ever-bigger screws. We drilled a new hole for the right-size strap button screw and filled the original. In this video, we do the following work: • Checking the structure • Checking the electronics • Polishing the lacquer • Fitting new strings (Ernie Ball Super Slinky 9s) • Levelling the frets • Re-crowning and polishing the frets • Checking the nut & and filing the string slots to correct depth • Setting the neck relief correctly • Setting the playing action • Intonating each string The result is a well-loved guitar that feels and sounds amazing and has blown away any prejudice I had about the 'Encore' brand. This is a guitar with character that I really want to keep - despite this, it IS up for sale on eBay •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• In case you're interested, 'Reloved Guitars' is a 'dad and stepson' operation, working from Tavistock in Devon, UK. We buy up good quality, badly-set up electric guitars that have been abandoned by frustrated owners and sold on eBay. We give each one a complete overhaul and set-up so that it plays better than a guitar costing 5 times as much. Each Reloved guitar comes with a link to its own individual set of HD workshop videos to give you confidence in the work that was done and to teach you how to set up a guitar yourself and know what to look for when buying second hand. I believe it's a MYTH that only expensive guitars are good guitars. I set out to prove that a well set-up basic guitar will out-perform more expensive, brand name guitars. Reloved004, the bog-standard Encore that everyone's supposed to hate proves this point perfectly :-)
Views: 3128 Sam Deeks
Harley Benton ST-62MN SB Vintage Series 'out of the box' set up
 
01:55:38
In this video I set up Steven's Harley Benton ST-62MN SB Vintage Series strat, sent direct from Thomann. This is an interesting guitar - just under the £100 mark. I've had a few Harley Bentons in the past but this is the first one that I've noticed had been fret levelled in the factory. This is an important step for Thomann to take because it means that the buyer can lower the playing action themselves to a reasonably low level and the guitar will play. However - it's a compromise. They've evidently levelled the frets with a 10 second going-over with a radius block and sandpaper. Nothing wrong with that except they've (understandably) not done the time-consuming part ie. re-profiling and sanding out & polishing the frets. It's a sensible compromise given the price point. The extra playability is a big gain and when all's said and done it outweighs the VERY scratchy frets and their flat tops. Steven wanted to give this the full RG treatment - including re-profiling and sanding / polishing. Since I was doing that I decided that I might as well do a light fret levelling as well to clean up some of the notes that were still a little zzzingy. This levelling was revealing - and I show in the video that the fret dust after my precision levelling represents the difference between my 'strings on' method and the 'strings off' radius block method employed at the factory. Interestingly, when I set a lower action the 1st fret actions were then too low, around about 0.1mm - resulting in fret-clatter on the low E and A strings on the first frets. This necessitated either shimming the original (plastic) nut or replacing it with a bone nut, which I did. It's a shame because someone at the factory got this nut *almost* spot on...but not quite. End result is a very low-actioned strat with decent-sounding pickups. This is a perfect starter guitar to give to someone getting into playing and its also a great guitar to buy and set up yourself.
Views: 18185 Sam Deeks
Vintage V6 Reissued Laguna Blue set up
 
01:19:22
This video shows me setting up this Vintage V6 stratocaster from the JHS / Wilkinson stable of guitars. This guitar was bought for a birthday present for a customer's nephew (aged 15) who is just getting into playing the blues. This is the 2nd V6 Reissued strat in Laguna Blue I bought; the first I returned because it had some dings in the frets which would have required I do fret-levelling / dressing something I had hoped to avoid to keep the guitar within the customer's budget. This 2nd guitar was in perfect shape and I was able to set a decent action without fret levelling. (Note the action was a little higher than I would normally aim for but was constrained by budget). With this guitar I also wanted to give the customer an experience of just how stable a floating tremolo can be IF the nut slots, the string slack and the bridge saddles are properly taken care of. Too many people just assume tremolos ruin tuning, period. The truth is that culprits are mainly unreleased slack and sticky nut slots. Sort those out and you can tremolo all day long - if you want to. In this video, I cut the nut slots to the right 1st fret action, replace the bridge saddles with roller saddles and spend a good deal of time stretching out all of the slack from the strings to give a decent floating trem performance. If the customer doesn't like it, he can lock down the trem and throw the arm away but I wanted to challenge his pre-conceptions about tremolos to broaden his perspective and options for style.
Views: 9042 Sam Deeks
Harley Benton D120 electro acoustic black set up from NEW
 
02:08:06
** Warning - long unedited, real-time video alert!! ** These videos are not made for entertainment but for information for potential buyers of Reloved Guitars or those interested in doing set up work on their own guitars. This video shows me evaluating and then setting up a new Harley Benton electro acoustic from Thomann online music retailer. HB is Thomann's house brand and my experience so far (this is only my second HB) has been that their guitars are pretty good for the money apart from the lousy or non-existent set up. I wanted to see whether this guitar (new price £58 + £7 postage) could a) be transformed into a really good guitar and b) whether the finished result would be 'sellable' after adding a reasonable fee for my work. This video highlights this guitar's weak points: • thin finish • lightweight feel • rough frets • massively uneven frets • incorrect action at nut and bridge • loose jack input • poor quality strings and celebrates its positives: • playability straight out of the box • ridiculously cheap price • generally decent construction • nice sound • excellent 'starter' pickup / amp system • excellent playability AFTER full set up • Reliable, fast online supplier (Thomann) Verdict: for £65 all-in it's absolutely worth buying for your teenager (even with grinding, uneven frets and higher-than needs be action) because it's instantly playable both acoustically and through an amp. For £120 plus postage (after a full Reloved Guitars set up)? I'm still evaluating this and comparing it with other used guitars available at the £60 price point. A direct comparison I can make is with my Fender CD60 acoustic (current un-set up resale value around £60-70) which I've also set up - and I think I'd probably keep the HB out of the two primarily for the sheer flexibility of the pickup system, despite it's less robust construction & finish. The HB allows you to rehearse, gig or record much more easily than mic'ing up a regular acoustic.
Views: 11341 Sam Deeks
Vintage SG pickup upgrade and setup
 
02:41:35
** Warning - long, unedited video ahead. Not intended as entertainment! ** So this video shows the set up of a Vintage SG electric guitar. I've set up 6 or 7 of these and I love their simplicity and the responsiveness of the neck to adjustment and fret levelling. In this video I do a full Reloved set up, starting with setting the ideal playing action and then levelling the frets with my Banana fret levelling tool. On this guitar I decided to replace the pickups with Wilkinson hot humbuckers and they sound great. The bridge resistance is 15k (!) and this set is great for overdriven tones. I fit the new pickups and then re-string the guitar and set the intonation (which was pretty close to being ok). In the video I talk about the SG neck and how different it is to the Les Paul neck - and how that affects the 'adustability'.
Views: 11351 Sam Deeks
Epiphone ES 339 Pro set up
 
01:31:58
Paul bought this pretty Epiphone ES 339 Pro from 'one lady owner' and the condition showed; beautiful condition guitar for a great price. This video shows me doing a set up - including precision fret levelling and fitting an adjustable Tusq nut with a custom-made Milliput base. No real surprises here; I could feel from the outset that this would be a relatively straightforward set up. Nice quality from Epiphone and a lovely guitar all round. There's definitely a 339-shaped hole in my guitar collection.
Views: 1941 Sam Deeks
Harley Benton Telecaster KIT build, upgrade and set up part 1
 
02:08:44
** Warning - long unedited video ahead. Not intended for entertainment so ensure you know where the 'back' button on your browser is ** This video shows me putting together and setting up a Harley Benton T-style DIY kit electric guitar from online music retailer Thomann.de. I've bought from these people since about 2006 (!) and they're totally credible and dependable in my experience. I've bought a couple of HB guitars in the past and for a long time had my eye on one of their kits because they were so cheap and because of the masses of positive feedback about them on their site. I bought this one because I was interested in whether it was a viable 'platform' for upgrading, setting up the 'Reloved' way and selling on. And at £57 + about £8 postage there's really nothing to lose - especially considering you get a playable Tele at the end of it. The kit is impressive when it arrives: very confidence-inspiring. Everything is there, well packed and all the routing and finish of the body & neck look and feel great. The neck joint is very snug. You notice immediately the light weight of the body... I cut the headstock to a Tele template and put on one of my own logos and followed up with some vintage amber lacquer and clear gloss (all nitrocellulose). Meanwhile, I sanded the body and added some water-based stains (the first time I'd used these and tbh they didn't seem to take that well to basswood). I ended up with a reddy-brown finish that was more 'flat' than 'showing off the grain' but, hey - it's £57 remember. I'd ordered some Tone Rider hot pickups for this and fitted them off-camera (because they needed small but time-consuming modification to fit). I then put the guitar together which was an absolute doddle thanks to its simplicity and the snap-together solderless connections (although I had to solder them on to the Tone Riders). Even though I planned to give this a full Reloved fret levelling & set up, I held back from doing that because I first wanted to see how the guitar would play 'put together straight out of the box'. I strung it up, dropped the saddles a couple of mm and the decent quality of the neck allowed me to get playing straight away. That, plus the experience of building it, would be a great outcome for a newcomer or a youngster - worth every penny and more. The video shows me going on to do a precision fret-levelling (as usual) and full set up. Off camera I'd had to return the first set of Tone Rider p/ups because the bridge one was unacceptably microphonic. The end result? The guitar sounds great and plays beautifully thanks to that extra precision on top of what was an unusually good neck for the price. However, there are two major issues for me (and I accept that I'm maybe not their usual buyer): first thanks to the light body, the guitar is headstock heavy. I hate this in a guitar - you'd be amazed how much energy you end up putting into holding the guitar up while playing. In a gig it can sap you before you know it. Second, the pickup selector switch is annoyingly and unnecessarily stiff. I like the feel and sound of the guitar so much that I've just ordered a sheet of lead which I'm going to fold up and attached to the bottom edge of the guitar where the strap button is. That is the only way I'd sell this guitar because without it, a buyer wouldn't be able to enjoy it's great qualities.
Views: 74934 Sam Deeks
Taylor Baby BT2 set up
 
01:27:24
This video shows me setting up the second of Salv’s two Taylor Baby acoustic guitars – the mahogany BT2. Both were bought online and sent directly to me to set up. Salv chose to do this so that I could make them both play as well as possible and in doing so, ensure that the dreaded ‘high 1st fret action intonation problem’ was prevented. I have a BT2 and I love it – now. It was the guitar that started me learning how to improve the way guitars play and the guitar that really started Reloved Guitars. You can hear that story here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPrY4Sc1RrE You’ll see from this video that there’s a lot of improvement I can make on a brand new acoustic without having to do any fret leveling work – hence the price is less than an electric set up with precision fret leveling involved. As with the electric guitar, the nut on an acoustic guitar is critical and on these short-scale acoustics it’s even more important. Both guitars showed the notes down near the nut playing sharp; with 1st fret. On this guitar I set the 1st fret action to 0.3mm to give a lovely light playing action and to cure the intonation problems that make owners think they can’t quite ever get the guitar in tune. If you have a musical ear, this problem will drive you crazy – and you can hear it on the early part of the video (and hear it being cured in the later part). If you don’t have a musical ear you may wonder what the hell I’m complaining about ☺ I also lowered the bridge saddle to give a nicer action near the body. What I hope you’ll be able to see from both these videos is just how much a fraction of a mm makes to ruining the way open chords sound (or to making them sound like a choir of angels) ☺
Views: 5571 Sam Deeks
Vintage V100 Lemon Drop set up
 
02:39:29
** Warning: long, unedited video ahead. Not intended as entertainment ** This video shows the set up of a Vintage V100 Lemon Drop Les Paul copy. This is a nice-looking 'distressed' style guitar that played pretty nicely on receipt. The customer originally wanted to install Tronical robot Tuners on this guitar but my research revealed that they don't make a set to fit. I was surprised by this, since the Vintage V100 model has become a very popular Les Paul copy in the last few years. The video shows me doing a set up in the 'new' sequence - setting the ideal playing action before fret levelling with a tuneable fret levelling tool. I set the nut action on this guitar to match the low E which (to my surprise) gave a 1st fret action of barely 0.25mm. The only alternative would have been to replace the nut or do a baking soda and superglue repair. The adjustments to the action on this guitar were very small but enough to translate into quite a big difference in 'feel' for the owner.
Views: 9485 Sam Deeks
Squier Affinity Strat refret
 
01:04:01
This video shows me re-fretting a Squier Affinity Strat that I took in part exchange a couple of months ago. At the beginning you meet Maurice and his new 'friend' Fatface (an injured stray tomcat who adopted us earlier this year) and I get to complain a bit more about tree vandalism - Grrrrr. Anyhow, this is an example of a 'non-economical re-fret' i.e. something that I can afford to do in my spare time but from a customer point of view might not make sense. Having said that, re-fretting with jumbo frets a) gives the guitar a whole new lease of life and b) changes the way it feels to play (in my view for the better but it's a personal preference). If you want to do the full precision fret levelled set ups I do in most of my videos - but using everyday tools that cost next to nothing - please consider buying my eBook '5 Steps to Guitar Set Up Heaven' direct from me. Details here: https://www.facebook.com/relovedguitars/photos/a.1434485003475282/1831237983799980/?type=3&theater
Views: 1188 Sam Deeks
Epiphone ES339 set up
 
01:27:33
This is the first video output from my new Final Cut Pro software...you shouldn't (hopefully) notice any difference; it's mostly that my old software had ground to a halt forcing me to go through loads of upgrades and money and it STILL didn't work. There was no option but to buy some decent editing software; not for doing complex editing (you know I won't be doing that!) but for the stability of just getting the basic job done :-) Ok - so this is the 2nd of Luke's 3 guitars set up over a weekend. It's a 'Les Paul-sized' semi-acoustic guitar and right from the outset, it felt and looked good. When you're playing a 335 you KNOW you're playing a guitar, it's SO big and bulky. You can't help but feel like BB King or John Lennon. This guitar, however, is so much smaller and more compact - it seems like an ideal compromise between the '60s rock and roll style and the smaller body. The set up here was fairly straightforward with the frets needing a fair amount of work. As with so many Tune-o-matic bridges, the saddles rattled annoyingly so I packed them with little bits of rubber to stop that happening. You'll note that Maurice paid a visit while I was cutting masking tape for the neck...I was very careful (on Luke's request) to keep Maurice away from his guitars in order not to trigger his allergic reaction to cats. Rest assured that the guitars were all hanging safely out of the way on the rare occasions that Maurice made an appearance. Overall, I really liked playing this guitar and am tempted to get one at some point. The only other similar guitar I've tried out was the Epiphone Casino Coupe - and liked that as well.
Views: 21516 Sam Deeks
Listen to the pings...if you want stable tuning on your guitar
 
03:17
A quick video to demonstrate the 'pinging' you might hear when tuning that indicates that your nut slots are gripping the strings slightly. If this happens (even the slightest amount) you WILL have tuning instability - and it's surprising just how much instability it will cause. My advice is to focus on this pinging towards the end of the set up when you've re-strung and are stretching out the new strings. Every time you wind your tuners, listen out for the pinging. If you hear a ping, don't try to solve it with 'nut sauce' or graphite powder etc - make sure you clear it with a blade and sandpaper to widen the slot (taking care not to lower or deepen the slot as you're doing it). Only when you've got all strings running smoothly with absolutely no pings anywhere should you consider adding some graphite powder to the slots as a final lubrication.
Views: 1522 Sam Deeks
Epiphone Dot set up
 
02:00:35
In this video I'm setting up Dale's lovely ebony Epiphone Dot - a 335-style semi-acoustic guitar. I've not spent much time playing the Epiphone Dot and enjoyed the tone and feel of this one. The guitar was bought 2nd hand and the 'aftermarket' vibrato system (a copy of the Bigsby B7) had been modified and / or had a ill-fitting arm added. Because the hole in the arm was larger than the bolt and the hole in the vibrato unit, the arm rattled about unless it was screwed down very tight in which case it became very stiff and horrible to use. There was no way of permanently fixing this (without a more substantial repair / replacement) but I made a workable fix with some soft copper. This held the arm nicely in place, stopped the rattling but allowed much more movement than before. The video shows me doing my usual Reloved Setup including precision fret levelling to achieve a nice, low and easy action. Some of the notes down by the nut were buzzing due to backbow in the truss rod and some bent notes needed fret levelling to free them up. All in all a straightforward set up without any problems and a lovely guitar when done.
Views: 18772 Sam Deeks
Ibanez Artcore AS73 setup
 
02:58:06
** Warning: long unedited video ahead. Not intended as entertainment ** This video shows the set up of Doug's lovely Ibanez Artcore AS73 semi-acoustic guitar. The guitar is in pretty good shape, with a few small dings and scratches here and there but sounded very nice and jazzy. The problem of its uneven frets showed up as soon as I lowered the action to the desired level, so fret levelling was important to take care of that. A bonus of fret levelling is that it also removes any surface damage on the frets such as the grooves this guitar had on the lower - mid frets from years of playing open chords. I followed my normal 5-step set up process on this guitar and the result is a lovely low, easy action with all the notes playing and bending well.
Views: 22179 Sam Deeks
Unbranded Telecaster set up
 
02:28:11
This video shows me setting up Simon's unbranded Telecaster with a Mustard Guitars neck and a swamp ash (?) body in natural finish. It's a beautiful beast and I loved the feel of that neck. I replaced the nut on and did a full set up including precision fret levelling. I set a very ambitious action target for a Tele and in the end Simon raised it very slightly to get a completely buzz free action that suits his playing style. I also packed some lead into the electrics cavity on this guitar to go some way to re-balancing the neck and body.
Views: 1759 Sam Deeks
Chibson Les Paul copy set up Part 2
 
02:11:49
** Warning: long & deliberately unedited video ahead. May contain traces of error & personal opinion. Please familiarise yourself with the ‘stop’ and ‘fast forward’ controls ** This is Part 2 of the Chibson set up - featuring replacement of the stock (unbranded) pickups with Tonerider Alnico humbuckers. In this video I switch out the pickups and complete the set up process. You’ll see me mess up the nut slots (I did this TWICE in one day on two different guitars) and replace the nut with a spare rather than do a ‘superglue and bicarb’ trick. In fact HAD I done that kind of repair I would have used ‘superglue and bone powder’ as I have a little pot of ground-down bone nut for repairs and small-gap fills. Thanks to those who have left long and very interesting comments about Chibsons. I don’t have a strong position on these guitars one way or another (this is a customer’s guitar after all) - I’m just looking at it as a learning experience as in ‘Hey, what’s this like then…?’ To me, a counterfeit guitar is much like a fake Rolex… neither do anything for me - but that’s because I’m not over-awed by the whole brand name thing anyway. All that matters to me about this guitar is ‘can it be made to play well?’ and ‘do I like the way it looks and feels?’. Having changed the pickups, sorted out the neck & frets the answer to both is now ‘Yes’ and I’d recommend to Jay that he keeps this guitar and sells off the Minarik Inferno instead.
Views: 10159 Sam Deeks
Ibanez S521 MOL setup
 
03:23:22
** Warning: long unedited video ahead. Not intended for entertainment, so please be ready to make with the fast-forward button :-) ** Follow Reloved Guitars on Facebook: www.facebook.com/relovedguitars In this video I do a set up on the exquisitely beautiful Ibanez S521 MOL electric guitar. I fell in love with the look and feel of this guitar and don’t regret buying it…even though in the end, I had to come to the conclusion that I couldn’t live with it. May be you can. In my view there are only two problems with this guitar and they’re both design faults. The first is the angled jack input: wonderfully sleek and different but completely impossible unless you’re using one of those leads with the long-bodied moulded jack plugs on the end. The second problem is the ‘head heaviness’. Because this guitar is so incredibly light in the body (as the result of it’s ‘disc shaped’ sculpting), the headstock dives the way an SG does. This is no problem for bedroom / home playing but I found it surprisingly tiring in band rehearsals. Doing ‘Reloved Guitars’ I’m spoiled in that I have a regular choice of guitars - so it became a straight choice for me which guitar to keep: the Ibanez RG370DX or the S521. I had to lose one and it ended up being the beautiful but flawed S521. In the video you’ll see a ‘standard’ fret checking / levelling / re-profiling / polishing process on this neck. To Ibanez’s credit, this guitar had only 50% uneven frets (less than the average) and very mild unevenness in those. A pretty good, well-made neck and fretboard. At the end, this neck is so precise that the guitar was playable with a ridiculous 1mm action at the 24th fret. I backed off to 1.5mm and am planning to go up to 2mm at the 24th which is still lovely and effortless but leaves another 1mm leeway if that’s your preference. This flexibility is testament to what you can achieve by levelling the frets accurately (and helped a lot by such a well-constructed neck). In addition, the nut slots were pretty close to what I’d recommend and the process of intonation was also very easy, positive and responsive - the signs of a well-engineered and precise instrument. Absolutely great instrument if you’re not gigging - although I’m selling it WITH a modified strap that has a counterbalance made of 1 pound of diving lead shot. NB: Lighting is all over the place still and my head-mic comes out only in one channel of the GoPro (so it's NOT your settings, sorry!) Will aim to sort these out in time...
Views: 12275 Sam Deeks